Marijuana dispensaries reduce local opioid overdose rates, study finds

Marijuana Moment is a wire service assembled by Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization activist and journalist covering marijuana reform nationwide. The views expressed by Angell or Marijuana Moment are neither endorsed by the Globe nor do they reflect the Globe’s views on any subject area.

Several studies have linked legal marijuana programs to lower rates of opioid overdoses, but most of that research has focused on broad, state-level data. Zoom in closer — to the county level — and the role of dispensaries where people can actually purchase cannabis becomes clear.

Looking at mortality records from 2009 to 2015, a team of researchers investigated whether the presence of dispensaries in counties with medical cannabis laws had an effect on deaths from prescription opioids,

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